Shanghai Si Chuan Surprise :)

Hi! I just got back from the young and vibrant Shanghai City. I was smitten by the beauty of Shanghai and if ever I would leave Manila for an overseas assignment, Shanghai is on top of my list. The Shanghai city skyline is one of the best in the world. I was fortunate to have seen this magnificent beauty and capture it with my camera. It was a short business trip so I did not really have the time to explore. I have a few photos to share with you and I do hope I get to have a chance to go back to explore this city. I love Manila but Shanghai is number 2 in my list of favorite cities in the world.
Just one unsolicited advice, the new generation of Filipinos need to learn Mandarin. There is no doubt in my mind that China will be the next economic super power and Shanghai is a glimpse of China’s dominance in the future. The next generation of global Filipinos will be speaking three languages English, Tagalog and Mandarin to become successful in this information age. I would make sure that my son, Aidan would learn to speak Mandarin. ( Let me know your reaction to this… )

Shanghai is photogenic with awesome buildings with fresh air and blue sky as background.

I was excited and proud to see Jollibee in Shanghai. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to eat in Jollibee during my trip.

Taichi exercising folks are a common sight in Shanghai.

Bikes and Motorcycles contributes to the clean air atmosphere in this city.

I love Shanghainese food and this is a glimpse of the menu from Tan Wai Lou fine dining restaurant.

Even the hole-in-the-wall 4 table shanghainese restaurants have cult following so we have to go in early to get a table.

Sweet soy sauce crunchy chicken– I’ve never tasted a chinese cuisine this good.

Si Chuan Fish — I love spicy food and I was craving for this type of food!

Si Chuan Chicken — Sweet and Chili Chicken is not enough to describe this dish. I’m missing it already.

I love Shanghai because of their food. I was wondering where can I get authentic shanghai dishes or even si chuan dishes in Manila to satisfy my craving? Please please let me know.


31 thoughts on “Shanghai Si Chuan Surprise :)

  1. Hi Anton, the Mandarin language is really important right now. Many Fil-Chi’s are even sending their kids to China to learn the language, eventhough they’ve already learned them in their Chinese schools here. I, for one, will be sent to China this September to learn more about the language and China’s culture =) The language will really be beneficial- be it for business or for other purposes. USA are even hiring Chinese speaking individuals to translate their business dealings with the Chinese, to think that they’re one of the countries who strongly discrimates the Chinese =)
    Just an observation though, your wife seems to be Chinese =)

  2. You haven’t been to the heart of Si Chuan food w/o Ma La Hot Pot. Have you tried it? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Don’t think there’s any Si Chuan food here in Manila – they are not that well loved by everyone since its too spicy – one that could make your mouth totally numb.
    Shanghainese food is also hard to find BUT xiao long bao is Shanghainese ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t been to Zhongnanhai to taste theirs but the best for me has to be in Suzhou Dumplings. I think they have branches in Ghills and T Mapua and Banawe area.
    Yes, it is great to learn another language. I so agree but ensure that Aidan learns Mandarin as in w/o Shanghainese or Peking twang hehe.

  3. Of course, Mandarin will be important in the coming century. But don’t think that your son will learn Chinese by studying at the Chinese schools here in Manila. I studied Mandarin here in Manila and the only Chinese I can still speak are cuss words and the most useful, ‘Ma’am, may I go out?’
    For Aidan to really speak and read Chinese, he’s going to have to live in China for a year or so.

  4. Good for Aidan. I’m planning to take up Mandarin myself (I’m pure Pinay). And if we have kids in the future, they’ll all learn Mandarin as well.

  5. @sidney,
    yeah, I do hope that my son would have an easier time…
    Where are you planning to learn mandarin? in china?
    You are right… I’m planning to go to Singapore or China and I dread the day that I have to leave the Philippines…. but I guess to your point, Aidan would need an environment where he can learn and speak the language… oh well, matagal pa naman yan…

  6. Actually I kinda disagree with Rog.I think it’s not the school at fault but it’s really on the environment and of course, personal choice/determination. Like in any new knowledge, if you don’t practice or apply it, no matter how good you are in memorizing the principle or theories behind it, it will be nothing.
    For language, it takes a lot of work – well, immersion is the easiest.But..assuming that you don’t have the chance or opportunity to really stay in that foreign land, THERE ARE STILL A LOT OF WAYS. If you are determined, ay naku, there will always be a way ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I have lots of takes on why Fil Chi fails to learn the language well (Vs a Sing Chi for example) pero that will be besides the topic on top hehe.

  7. @Bluerthablue
    thanks for this perspective.. yeah my wife is chinese which started my fascination for the chinese culture also hehe.
    Where will you learn chinese in china?

  8. Hi!
    My friends already came back from Shanghai after their chinese language course.
    I visited them last september and stayed there for three weeks! I super love the city especially the food!
    They offer different cuisines, lots of it are authentic because they have expats all over the city!
    Expensive city though, nonetheless I love it!
    I might go to Jiao Tong University next year to study manadarin.

  9. where is jiao tong university? in shanghai city? Yeah, I’m looking
    for the best chinese school and just waiting if I can take a leave in
    the office to learn mandarin…

  10. I just came from studying at Shanghai Jiao Tong University for 10 months. I’m a Fil-Chi too, and you guessed it! I didn’t really learn a lot in my HS (I think I have the same HS as your wife). hehe ๐Ÿ˜›
    I went to Shanghai with little Mandarin skills. I could barely say, “Where is the toilet?” ๐Ÿ˜› After 10 months though, I can say that I’ve improved quite a lot. I can now speak with other people, shop and haggle on my own, order and eat out at restaurants, even managing to complain if the food has not yet arrived. I even have a Japanese pen pal, to whom I write simple emails using Mandarin.
    Whether or not a person learns Mandarin there depends on that person’s determination. I have Chinoy friends who still aren’t that great at it because they spend most of their time surrounded with fellow Filipinos. They rarely go to class and almost never do their homework. On the other hand, there are pure Filipinos who go to school, study very hard, and in a short time, become pretty fluent in the language. I’m sure you’ll be adept at Mandarin in no time.
    Shanghai is a great city to live in! I still miss it. I miss the freedom and the safety of walking along the streets at night, and looking like all the others. Hehe ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hope to read more about your adventures in Shanghai!
    P.S. Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s School of International Education is located in downtown Xujiahui district, in the city center. Here’s their website: Hope this helps!

  11. I agree with the rest of them that your son needs to learn Mandarin in the future. And I think the best place to learn it is to go to China. Although your son can learn chinese here, I think it’s just different since the teaching method here in the Philippines is not effective. I think the Chinese schools here should follow how the language is taught in China.
    Anyway, I studied in Beijing and for me it’s the best place to learn Mandarin or Putonghua as they call it there. The best universities are in Beijing. =) I went to TsingHua University.

  12. Did you get to try the famous chicken dish (battered in clay/mud with its feathers then slowly charred)? I can’t seem to recall the name?
    Anyways, immersion is easiest. I learned cantonese by being in HongKong and Guangdong Prov.

  13. Sherwin is correct. Mandarin is taught here in the Philippines (at least during my day) the way it is taught in Taiwan to native speakers. As such, there are many rote exercises and basic readings that do not stick with you unless you speak the language outside school 24-7.
    Mandarin should be taught to Filipinos as a SECOND language since there are really very few native speakers living here. There is a totally different pedagogy to this. You are taught grammar rules differently, etc. And this method is much more effective.
    Hopefully, the Chinese schools here have since upgraded their curricula. But still, there’s no better way of learning it than living there for an extended period.

  14. I’m hoping to see the day that we have Mandarin taught in schools. Of course, this might only be limited to Chinese schools but dumadami na rin naman ang chinese school sa pinas.
    Thanks for sharing your 2cents worth.

  15. Hi Anton,
    You can learn to speak Mandarin for free at
    The free version gives you access to the mp3 files. The paid version gives you access to the pdf files, which contain notes and chinese characters.
    Have fun!

  16. Hi,
    Yeah, I think learning Mandarin has something to do with the environment. Aidan can enroll in Chinese schools here so that he could already have the “basics” before really going into the intensive program =)
    @ Anton
    I’ll be going to China this September. Specifically Beijing. My school is Beijing Language and Culture University =)

  17. Anton,
    What did I tell you about Chinese food being different in Manila and China? For one, I think we have less adventurous palletes often sticking to the tried and taste, cut and paste form of Chinese food (the Cantonese and Hokkien style with maybe a smattering of other regional varieties like Peking duck). In China, even the simplest form streetfood is wow meal. At basta pagkain, mura!
    Shanghai is a very dynamic city. Ive visited the that place a few times, I still cant get enough of the place! Im just glad I took Mandarin seriously (enough) to get my way around. And speaking of Mandarin, I agree with what Ian said.
    Having been a product of the Chinese languange education in the country, I can say that there is something not right in assuming Tsinoys would master the language easily simply because theyre ethnic Chinese. For most part, Tsinoys speak Hokkien and not Mandarin at home. Anyways, before I start writing a treatise here, let me just tell you that some Tsinoy Schools (like Xavier) have already updated the curriculum and teach Mandarin conversation now (vis-a-vis the old rote learning method of my days) but I hope you dont just instill in your son your reasons on why youd want him to learn the language but also impart to him the value of learning it. That way, he will take his own steps (as I did) in pursuing the language.

  18. Not sure if Szechuan Tea House does serve Szechuan dish. In the 1st place, Fried Mantou is not Szechuan cuisine :O
    Come to think of it, just as what Manila Streewalker said, we never have the chance to have a taste of regional Chinese food here in Manila. It’s always a hobnob of many things that can be called Chinese. How sad ๐Ÿ™

  19. @Ivan – Ivan,
    When you told me china food is different in manila, I didn’t really realize how far apart the taste are. It won’t even compare and that is why I missed it soo much na… Once you taste Shanghainese food or authentic china cuisine, parang fast food na ang lasa ng mga chinese resto dito.
    oh well, I’m more determined to go back for the food and to learn mandarin. Thanks for sharing your piece on this ๐Ÿ™‚
    @ Cathy B —
    I don’t think that Sze chuan cuisine is the same as Si Chuan. I haven’t really eaten any Si Chuan dish here… hopefully the chinese restos in the hotels import them one of these days…

  20. I think we are talking the same ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s what Wikipedia says – nakakaaliw to:)
    “Sichuan (helpยทinfo) (Chinese: ๅ››ๅท; Pinyin: Sรฌchuฤn; Wade-Giles: Ssu-ch`uan; Postal Pinyin: Szechwan and Szechuan) is a province in central-western China with its capital at Chengdu.”
    Natawa naman ako dun ..fastfood?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I echo your sentiments. Hehe.

  21. How I miss Shanghai…I love this city.Been here in 2002 and went back last January 2006 to visit my sister. Big change na..kung nung 2002 maganda..mas gumanda siya ngayon.I’m Fil-Chi, I’m so proud of my heritage. You were right Anton, China will be the next economic super power. Yan ang sinabi ng dad ko when I was a kid. Which I don’t believe that time.

  22. hi! my friend and i are planning to go to shanghai early next year (fingers crossed), because like you we feel that the wave of the future is currently making its way in china. also, i’m planning to take some mandarin lessons soon as a sort of preparation. so i’m rather glad that you pointed the importance of learning chinese.
    since this a huge step for us, i’m wondering if you could tell us about the job market there (would a couple of college graduates be able to land a job there easily?). failing that, i’m seriously thinking of going into ESL…
    any input from you would be greatly appreciated. thanks, and more power

  23. hi anton! i’m going to Shanghai this May..was wondering if you have recommended restos for me to try there. =) the resto you commented..where is that located? =) thanks!

  24. hi anton! will be going to shanghai this may..would just like to ask if you have recommended restos for me to try there =) the one you commented..where is that located? i love chinese food!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *